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James Naughton to Direct Berkshire Theatre Group's BRACE YOURSELF, Featuring Jill Eikenberry, Jackie Hoffman and More


The world premiere of Brace Yourself, opens at Berkshire Theatre Group's Fitzpatrick Main Stage on August 18 at 8pm. Previews begin August 14 at 8pm and closing is on August 25. Brace Yourself is sponsored by Country Curtains, Blantyre and The Red Lion Inn.

Tickets to Brace Yourself are $37-$57; all preview tickets are $37. Contact the Stockbridge Campus Ticket Office at 83 East Main Street, by calling 413-298-5576or the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444. Tickets can also be bought online at Ticket Offices are open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.

Everyone is preparing for the hurricane to arrive, but at Sunny's house the storm has already hit. With a huge wedding to plan, an unhappy bride to appease, a promiscuous son to keep track of and a dead aunt to dispose of, it's no wonder Sunny is a bit tense. However, it's only once the hurricane finally hits that Sunny learns that it's ok to let go, in more ways than one. Hilarities abound in this outrageous world premiere directed by two-time Tony Award winner, James Naughton.

The cast includes Clea Alsip as Kitty, Jill Eikenberry as Sunny, Tara Franklin as Nina, Jackie Hoffman as Jeanette, David Ross as Andy, and Michael Tucker as Milt.

James Naughton (Director) Naughton has appeared on-screen in The Devil Wears Prada playing Meryl Streep's husband, co-starred opposite Barbara Hershey in the independent film Childless, and was also seen be seen in The Weinstein Company's Factory Girl, playing Sienna Miller's father, and Warner Brothers Independent Films Suburban Girl, alongside Sarah Michelle Geller and Alec Baldwin. Naughton has won two Tony Awards as 'Best Actor in a Musical' for Chicago and City of Angels, the latter earned him a Drama Desk Award as well. He starred in the Broadway production of Democracy as Willy Brandt opposite Richard Thomas. Naughton's other theatre credits include Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, I Love My Wife, Whose Life is it Anyway, Drinks Before Dinner and Losing Time. On Broadway, Naughton has directed Arthur Miller's Tony nominated production of The Price and Paul Newman in Thornton Wilder's Our Town.

David Epstein (Playwright) David Epstein's plays have been produced Off-Broadway, in Europe and at regional theatres across the US including, South Coast Rep, Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth, and Actors' Theatre of Louisville. Symphony Space recently produced his play, Surface To Air, in New York, directed by Jim Naughton. Exact Change was seen at the Lyric Hammersmith during a critically acclaimed run in London. He wrote the books and collaborated on the lyrics for the Off-Broadway musicals Wanted and The Bonus Army with the late Rev. Al Carmines. He wrote the screenplay for Palookaville, produced by Red Wave Films, an award winner at the Venice Film Festival. He has written for the major film studios, and has been produced numerous times by network TV and PBS. Mr. Epstein, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, was Artist-in-Residence at Colgate University for a number of years.

Clea Alsip (Kitty) is making her Berkshire Theater Festival debut. New York credits include L(y)re (Ars Nova), boom!, Emperor Antony, Orpheus Descending, world premiere of Henry Box Brown by Tony Kushner (NYU Grad Acting), and the upcoming The Killing of Sister George starring opposite Kathleen Turner. Regional credits include One Slight Hitch by Lewis Black, Six Degrees of Separation (Williamstown), and the regional premiere of Motherf****r with the Hat (TheaterWorks Hartford). Film/TV: upcoming season of Boardwalk Empire, The Little Tin Man, Bumbloods, Strangers, Crystal Sessions. BA from Stanford University, MFA from NYU Graduate Acting Program.

Jill Eikenberry (Sunny) is best known for her portrayal of Ann Kelsey on NBC's long-running series, L.A. Law, which earned her four Emmy nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Golden Globe Award. Jill has starred on Broadway in Moonchildren, All Over Town, Summer Brave, Watch on the Rhine and Onward Victoria. Her off-Broadway performances include Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Uncommon Women and Others, Lemon Sky (Obie Award) and Life Under Water (Obie Award). Jill and her husband, Michael Tucker, recently performed in Enter Laughing – the Musical off Broadway. Last year Jill received a Drama Desk Nomination for her role in The Kid a new off-Broadway musical. Her feature films include Between the Lines, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Rich Kids, Hide in Plain Sight, Arthur, and The Manhattan Project. Last year she appeared in Something Borrowed with Kate Hudson and Young Adult, playing Charlize Theron's mom.

Tara Franklin (Nina) At the Berkshire Theatre Festival: Birthday Boy, The Guardsman, Ghosts, A Man For All Seasons, Educating Rita, Amadeus, Equus,The Misanthrope, Peter Pan, Dimetos, A Dream Play, The Einstein Project, and Camelot. With the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival: Henry V, Love's Labours Lost, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet. At the Connecticut Repertory Theatre: Translations, The Trojan Women, Red Noses, The House of Bernarda Alba, Misalliance, The Crucible, A Cry of Players and A Christmas Carol. New York: Me, My Guitar and Don Henley, Shel's Shorts and The Secretaries. Chicago: Manuscript Found in Saragossa (Lookingglass Theatre Company) and Gravid Water (Improv Olympic). Film: Labor Day (in production) Education: BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. MFA from the University of Connecticut.

Jackie Hoffman (Jeanette) Broadway: The Addams Family, Xanadu, Hairspray (Theatre World Award). Off-Broadway: The Tribeca Theatre Festival, The Gingerbread House, The Book Of Liz (Obie Award), Straightjacket, Incident At Cobbler's Knob, (LCT Festival), One Woman Shoe. Regional Theatre: The Sisters Rosensweig (The Old Globe). Film: The Sitter, The Extra Man, Robots, How to Seduce Difficult Women, A Dirty Shame, Garden State, Legally Blonde 2, Kissing Jessica Stein, Mo' Money. TV: Raising Hope, Family Guy, Melissa & Joey, On We Go (Pilot), 30 Rock, Starved, Dilbert, Hope & Faith, PB & J Otter, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Strangers With Candy, TV Funhouse, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Soulman, Cosby. Cabaret/Solo Shows: 54 Below, Joe's Pub (Time Out NY Outstanding Achievement Award, Bistro Award), Second City Theater (Jeff Award). 2009 Mac Award For Best Female Standup. Her comedy album, Jackie Hoffman LIVE AT JOE'S PUB is available at

David Ross (Andy) Off-Broadway: Spin at The Cherry Lane Theatre, Vengeance at The Cherry Lane (stageFARM), Deep in the Hole (Summer Shorts 2) at 59E59. Regional: Anne Washburn's A Devil at Noon at Humana Festival 2011, ReGina Taylor's Magnolia, Jason Grote's Box Americana, Deb Laufer's End Days at The Euguene O'Neill Playwright's Conference, Lucy and the Conquest, Romeo and Juliet at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Annie Baker's The Aliens at Weston Playhouse. Film: God of Love (2011 Academy Award, Best Short Film), Two Lovers (Joaquin Phoenix, Gwenyth Paltrow), The Rebound (Catherine Zeta Jones), The Weekend (upcoming (webseries, Jay Tarses). David received his MFA from NYU's Graduate Acting Program.

Michael Tucker (Milt) is best known for his portrayal of Stuart Markowitz in the TV series L.A. Law. He has plied his trade for forty years – on stage, on TV and in films. He was last scene on stage in Enter Laughing – The Musical at the York Theater in New York and then at The Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. He has published three memoirs and his first novel, After Annie was published in March by the Overlook Press. His blog – Notes From the Culinary Wasteland – chronicles his eating adventures in New York and Italy, where he lives with his wife, Jill Eikenberry.

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